On the old caravan route through Oman, the ancient settlement of Al Mudayrib is surrounded by 18th-century watchtowers dotted around the hills. In town, see the 10 remaining sablas, originally built by wealthy Omani merchants with the riches they made during colonial times in East Africa. The merchants’ houses were used as meeting halls for wealthy clans and as refuges in times of war.
Today, the public rooms are often used for local wedding ceremonies, though they’re not open to the general public. Not to worry—the exteriors are beautiful enough, with intricately designed doors that were often carved in Zanzibar. The town of Al Mudayrib also has some beautiful mosques and a crumbling 18th-century fort, which is well worth a visit.
An especially lively time to visit Al Mudayrib is just before Eid, when the local souk really comes to life and both men and women don their best clothes and jewelry. Sunset is a popular time to take a stroll around the town, too, when the Wahiba Sands cast a red glow over town.
About 12 miles (20 km) south of Ibra on the old caravan route in the Sharqiyah region of Oman, Al Mudayrib is on Highway 25 from Muscat.